Amendment to the Motion

Part of Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee - Membership Motion – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 31st January 2023.

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Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 3:45 pm, 31st January 2023

My Lords, I confess that, when I was chair of the Economic Affairs Committee, I complained about this rotation. I see that the number of members coming off that committee is the same. I put that down to a failure by me as chairman. As my noble friend the Senior Deputy Speaker said, the remedy lies with the committees themselves. I hope that I am not landing my successor with a difficulty.

The late Queen’s question is pertinent here: why did no one see this coming? If they are faced with this, it is surely up to the chairman and committees themselves to say that perhaps some of us may leave a little early and, if people are not willing to, have a ballot so that you get that one-third rotation. There is an argument that some people would then get only two years. We have set up very difficult committees on very difficult subjects where the committee’s lifespan is only one year.

My noble friend has been put in a very difficult position, as have the usual channels, because the House voted for this matter. The answer is for the chairmen of committees who feel this way to discuss with their members how they can get a more even rotation in future and not leave it up to the House to sort out.